U v Centre for Reproductive Medicine: CA 24 Apr 2002

The claimant appealed a refusal to grant an order preventing the destruction of the sperm of her late husband held by the respondent fertility clinic. The clinic had persuaded her husband to sign a form of consent for this purpose. The claimant said that the form had been obtained by undue influence, believing that the treatment would not be provided unless it was signed. He had first completed the form to refuse such consent, but the staff had persuaded him to change it.
Held: A withdrawal of consent might be vitiated by undue influence. It was for the claimant to establish undue influence. However here, the issue is not strictly one of undue influence, but rather of a consent given within a particular statutory context. The court stressed the great importance to be attached to the prescribed form completed in compliance with Schedule 3 of the Act. The judge’s decision was essentially one of fact having heard and seen the witnesses. That decision was not to be disturbed.


Lady Justice Hale


[2002] EWCA Civ 565




Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990


England and Wales


CitedIn re T (Adult: Refusal of Treatment) CA 1992
A patient’s right to veto medical treatment is absolute: ‘This right of choice is not limited to decisions which others might regard as sensible. It exists notwithstanding that the reasons for making the choice are rational, irrational, unknown or . .
CitedRoyal Bank of Scotland v Etridge (No 2); Barclays Bank plc v Harris; Midland Bank plc v Wallace, etc HL 11-Oct-2001
Wives had charged the family homes to secure their husband’s business borrowings, and now resisted possession orders, claiming undue influence.
Held: Undue influence is an equitable protection created to undo the effect of excess influence of . .
Appeal fromThe Centre for Reproductive Medicine v U FD 24-Jan-2002
The defendant sought to use the sperm of her deceased husband for her insemination. The deceased had apparently withdrawn his consent to the use of his sperm posthumously. His widow claimed that he had been influenced to change the form, by an . .

Cited by:

CitedEvans v Amicus Healthcare Ltd and others CA 25-Jun-2004
The applicant challenged the decision of the court that the sperm donor who had fertilised her eggs to create embryos stored by the respondent IVF clinic, could withdraw his consent to their continued storage or use.
Held: The judge worked . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Health, Undue Influence

Updated: 29 June 2022; Ref: scu.170240